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Will I Be Disappointed?

Ekb

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France's (completed May 2019)
Hi I completed the camino France's route in May and absolutely loved it for so may reasons , since my return I have been thinking about my next camino.
Im 29 and have can take some annual leave from the 12th September for 12 days and don't want to waste my time off so was thinking of doing the camino Portugues.
I'm have a dilemma though, I will be turning 30 during the intended time away. My friends think im crazy for wanting to do another camino let alone doing it when it's my 30th birthday.
I cant really express how much I loved doing the Camino France's, I think deep down im worried I will be disappointed and the camino Portugues wont be as good.
For those who have done both routes how did the two compare ? Did you enjoy the Portuguese route just as much?
Thanks in advance.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
Welcome to the forum, and to a group of people who are enthralled with the camino. Your friends would shake their heads at our repeat caminos.

What is it that your friends think is "better" to mark your birthday? Do those alternatives make more sense?

As far as your question goes - will you be disappointed? Maybe, maybe not! Disappointments happen all the time, and fear of them is a bad way to approach life IMHO. Just keep your expectations modest and be prepared to make the best of whatever happens.
 

frontiers

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2010)
Portugués (2016)
Inglés (2019)
As far as your question goes - will you be disappointed? Maybe, maybe not! Disappointments happen all the time, and fear of them is a bad way to approach life IMHO. Just keep your expectations modest and be prepared to make the best of whatever happens.
I couldn’t agree more ...

I have walked and loved both of these caminos. I really enjoyed both of them in different ways, and for different reasons. In both cases, I couldn’t even imagine (beforehand) what made them so special. It could have been otherwise, and some day, it will just be otherwise.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I've walked both, and I personally didn't care for the Portuguese route. I much more enjoyed the route from Lourdes, the Aragones, and the Madrid routes. However, it's all a matter of opinion. So many Caminos, so little time :) Go where your heart calls you !
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
My memories of the Portuguese get finer as time passes - when I was walking I was not overly enamoured with it as a route but I did love that I was celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary that way! In no way do I regret doing it. This year I organised for my husband to cycle a camino with his best mate for his 50th birthday - so you'll definitely get my tick for celebrating a birthday on a camino. Portuguese is perfect for your time frame and the food is fabulous.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017, 2018, 2019
Seems like there are two issues here
1) Should you be doing a Camino to celebrate your 30th birthday?
2) Should you be doing the CP?

Unless your friends have a better proposal, I'd follow your instincts on the first - it sounds like you really loved the experience of the Camino, so what better way to celebrate than by doing a Camino?

On the second question - I have observed that some people love to repeat the Camino Frances. It's special to them. They find that each time they do it, they have a great - but different - experience. Perhaps some of them tried other routes and found that they fell below their expectations. I think some of them just don't want to try something new when they have something familiar that they love so much.
All of that is great and I don't spend time telling people to change what works for them. But there are others who get a thrill from exploring something new - perhaps even from knowing that there is a risk that you won't love a different route as much because it has different traditions, different (i.e. smaller) pilgrim population, and different (i.e. less) infrastructure.
What floats your boat? Remember - In the event that you go with one decision and it doesn't pan out, there's nothing to stop you hopping on a couple of buses and going the other way.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 2016 April - Jun
Del Norte, Finesterre 2018 May - Jun
Oh to be 30 again!!!!! I didn't discover the Camino til I was 64 doing the Frances and 66 for the Norte....loved them both.
You have all the time in the world...do the Portugues for your 30th and enjoy the differences between the two. I missed doing the via de la Plata this year with my walking partner because of a foot problem, but hoping for the via Francigena from Lausanne next year. Wish me luck and I wish you a Buen Camino
 

CdnDreamer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (12, 15 & 18) San Salvador (18), Portuguese (19)
I've walked the Frances 3 times (2012, 2015 and 2018) and the Portuguese (along the coast 2019). The Portuguese was different because I was walking along the ocean and many of the towns were more for tourists. But I couldn't believe the beautiful views. I absolutely loved walking along the ocean. When I walked in May I was surprised that the majority of pilgrims were from Germany. I only met a few people whose first language was English. That was a huge change from the Frances - but everyone could speak English so it wasn't a problem. Some people switched to the Central route because they weren't feeling the "vibe" of the camino along the ocean route, and wanted to walk through all the small farming towns like on the Frances.

Last year I had my 60th birthday on the Salvador camino and received an individual serving of yogurt for breakfast as a gift from a fellow pilgrim and had a fabulous dinner out compliments of another pilgrim. Much better than a birthday at home. I get such a kick out of telling people my 60th birthday gift was an individual serving of yogurt.

So if you have the time and the money to complete another camino - go for it!
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
Hi Ekb

I walked CF at age 33 and CP (central route) at age 35, so just a bit older than you.

I completed the camino France's route in May and absolutely loved it for so may reasons , since my return I have been thinking about my next camino.
You are asking if you are going to be disappointed. You loved CF. So, let me ask you to think about other kinds of love.

Most people fall head over hills when they are in love for the first time. It is intense and unforgettable. You think everything is amazing. It may change with time, it may end, but that passion of the 'first time' is unique.

Then, if you loved other people later, were they disappointing? Or just different? They will never be like the first one, but they will have their own unique characteristics that you only get to know if you give it a go.

And maybe you can think in a similar way of your caminos. None will ever replicate the sensations you had at CF. Not even a second go of the CF would be the same. But they can be special in their own manner.

As my favorite poet says "love should not be eternal, but infinite while it lasts".

For those who have done both routes how did the two compare ? Did you enjoy the Portuguese route just as much?
Now, on the practical side of your question.

1) It's your birthday and you do what you want.
2) The trails are very different - I walked both and enjoyed them for different reasons.

CF pros: more social, more beautiful landscapes, more intense immersion in the 'camino' feeeling. CF cons: crowded and touristy, especially towards the end. Many places where you need to grasp some Spanish.

CP: better food, less crowded, many people multilingual, fits in a short holiday timeframe. Cons: fair amount of hard surfaces (walking on roads), not so picturesque at the end, if you do the Central route.

I agree with the above suggestion of giving CP a go (make sure to spend some time in Porto enjoying the unbelievable Port wine and Francesinha sandwiches). if you don't like it, hop into a bus and enjoy your holiday touristing in Portugal and Spain. No one, not even your friends, would possibly think that's a bad idea, right?

Go free of expectations and enjoy it. Bom caminho :)
 

marylynn

Ontario Canada
Camino(s) past & future
2011-2019 CF, Arles/Aragones
2015 & 2017 HærvejenDK
Hi! I completed the Camino Frances route in May and absolutely loved it for so many reasons. I think deep down I'm worried I will be disappointed and the camino Portugues wont be as good
I think that is a common worry-and I think that if you walk the Camino Frances again, it won’t be the same...and you will not be disappointed. I had the same thoughts, too, after my first Camino that was so wonderful. However, I have walked the Camino Frances every year since 2011 (except one) and I was never disappointed. So many things are different each year - the light, the weather, the people I meet, the albergues and hospitaleros.
My caminos have always felt ‘the same but different,’ and the one constant has been the strange effect of encountering friends where I met them before—ghost encounters? Sometimes I turn a corner and there’s my Danish and German friends doing silly things, exactly where I encountered them in 2012 - or there’s my Danish friend standing next to the blacksmith sculpture in Burgos where we had a good laugh many years ago. And I am not the only one! I have talked to others who have experienced this strange effect of the past superimposed upon the present. It is a very pleasant and comforting experience for me, not scary at all.
I like the Camino Frances for many practical reasons, and I also like the familiarity and the comfort that I experience. All that to say, if you really enjoyed the Camino Frances in the past, do not hesitate to return and experience it again—it will be different! I don’t think you will be disappointed. And...you are young and have time to walk many different Caminos in the future.
 

Karl Oz

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Portuguese
Aragones
Sanabres
Piamonte
Elizabethpfad
You didn't mention what made the CF so special; probably lots of things, but if the social aspect was of paramount importance then you may find the CP to be similarly beguiling, as there will be a considerable number of fellow pilgrims following this route. Otherwise, there are lots of differences and similarities, so you have to take your chances and be happy with your decision, once it has been made. Bon voyage.
 

André Walker

Never loosing my way: always standing on it
Camino(s) past & future
Holland-St.Jean, Frances, Del Norte, VdlP.
Just assume that walking another Camino isn’t as good as the first one.
And go walk it anyway.

It can only exceed your expectations.

(I keep coming back for more Camino’s. For a reason...)
 

Ekb

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France's (completed May 2019)
Thank you for all you advice.
I have realised for my friends and family walking many miles for days does not make any sence to them especially when it's my birthday and so they are putting doubt in my mind.
Im definitely going to do the camino Portugues (something I will remember forever), a night out with friends getting drunk to celebrate my birthday can be done when I get back( I probably won't remember in the moning).
Thanks again I really needed to hear from people who had done the camino.
I cant wait to experience another camino.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I can't think of a better way to celebrate your birthday because by living through and sharing its challenges, the camino returns us to ourselves and to the fullness of who we are and who we can be. A night at the pub is fun enough, but it will never do that.
Go with an open heart and no demands or expectations, and the birthday will be a profound celebration.
Buen camino, and a very happy birthday to you!
 

HeidiL

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2004-), Portugués, Madrid, 4/5 Plata, 1/8 Levante, 1/8 Lana, Augusta, hospitalera Grado.
If that kind of thing is at all important to you, the Camino Portuguese gives you the possibility of eating Michelin-starred food at a reasonable price at a place that actually LIKES pilgrims... That would be a great celebration of your birthday, even if you're eating alone and on another day.

Call them in advance, explain you're a pilgrim, and reserve a clean(ish) shirt for the evening. (and don't plan to walk very far the next day.) Bring your credencial, the staff may ooh and aah over your stamps like they did over ours...
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
Scott's birthday was in September and he loved nothing more then to walk 30kms over rocky roads before settling down with a beer to wash his socks at the end of the day, birthday or not. To each the own, enjoy your trip which ever you decide on the posters have given a good summary of the key differences between the routes.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2022)
Hi I completed the camino France's route in May and absolutely loved it for so may reasons , since my return I have been thinking about my next camino.
Im 29 and have can take some annual leave from the 12th September for 12 days and don't want to waste my time off so was thinking of doing the camino Portugues.
I'm have a dilemma though, I will be turning 30 during the intended time away. My friends think im crazy for wanting to do another camino let alone doing it when it's my 30th birthday.
I cant really express how much I loved doing the Camino France's, I think deep down im worried I will be disappointed and the camino Portugues wont be as good.
For those who have done both routes how did the two compare ? Did you enjoy the Portuguese route just as much?
Thanks in advance.
I've had 2 Birthdays whilst on Camino. Celebrated with 'strangers'. They were very special and are my happiest birthday memories :)
 

Isca-camigo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Various ones.
Which part of the Portuguese will you do? If it's from Porto then you have some options, I wouldn't recommend walking out of Porto on the Central route, go via the coast and either stay on the coastal route or detour back to the central route when you have the option. It is a totally different Camino from the point of view of landscapes, terrain and surfaces( around 50% asphalt). Porto airport is ideal for getting onto the Camino, the metro system will take you to the cathedral or various other points, or you could even walk out of it onto the linking route which goes to the Coast route, that might need downloading some maps.
Good luck and Buen Camino
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Levante-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
England Camino routes ?2024
My first camino was the VDLP which I did solo and so will always be very special. My second camino was the Levante and Invierno with my 50th being on the latter. And it was perfect. I didn't want a flash party. The greatest gift for me was being out on the camino doing what I love with my fiance, enjoying good food with good company. The other half did put us up at the local Parador a couple of days later as a treat. I enjoyed the Invierno more than the Levante but there is no way I would not have done it. The CP is increasingly popular so you should be able to get the social experience more than on other routes. Don't expect the same experience. But you certainly will have a great experience. Remember tje Camino provides :)
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
The key to any repeat Caminos is : never give in to whatever forms of disappointment that are anyway inevitable. It's not worth it.

They will come ; and then they will go ; and at very worst, YOU will remain the same.

And that's "good enough".

Instead, open up to surprise and to the unexpected and to the unlooked-for.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Im definitely going to do the camino Portugues (something I will remember forever), a night out with friends getting drunk to celebrate my birthday can be done when I get back( I probably won't remember in the moning).
Great! As I was reading the posts I was thinking about how your friends want to share in your birthday celebration. But with the camino you will be able to find out who your real friends are. See who comes to your slide show of your trip. ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
Hi I completed the camino France's route in May and absolutely loved it for so may reasons , since my return I have been thinking about my next camino.
Im 29 and have can take some annual leave from the 12th September for 12 days and don't want to waste my time off so was thinking of doing the camino Portugues.
I'm have a dilemma though, I will be turning 30 during the intended time away. My friends think im crazy for wanting to do another camino let alone doing it when it's my 30th birthday.
I cant really express how much I loved doing the Camino France's, I think deep down im worried I will be disappointed and the camino Portugues wont be as good.
For those who have done both routes how did the two compare ? Did you enjoy the Portuguese route just as much?
Thanks in advance.
A hard question: how did the two compare? I walked the frances when I was almost double your age, and was so delighted that I made it to Santiago! i loved it all, blisters included. Ok, that is a lie. The blisters were a bit of a nuisance. 7 years later, from oporto. First day along by the sea and then inland as the coastal route was not set up at that stage for pilgrim budgets like mine. I loved both of them. No comparison. Then the Salvador, then a flat walk the following year to compensate, and this year, the Ingles from Ferrol. If you want to do it, then book the flight and off you go. Don’t forget to report back!
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco(2017) Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(2019) CF
Hi I completed the camino France's route in May and absolutely loved it for so may reasons , since my return I have been thinking about my next camino.
Im 29 and have can take some annual leave from the 12th September for 12 days and don't want to waste my time off so was thinking of doing the camino Portugues.
I'm have a dilemma though, I will be turning 30 during the intended time away. My friends think im crazy for wanting to do another camino let alone doing it when it's my 30th birthday.
I cant really express how much I loved doing the Camino France's, I think deep down im worried I will be disappointed and the camino Portugues wont be as good.
For those who have done both routes how did the two compare ? Did you enjoy the Portuguese route just as much?
Thanks in advance.
I've celebrate the last 6 of my birthdays on the Camino...sometimes acknowledged ( because companions knew the date, or hospitaleros noticed the date on documents ), and sometimes quietly.
I doesn't matter, or shouldn't matter what your friends think about your plan to walk unless they have some monumental plan for your day that you're unaware of. "Crazy" is an odd descriptor...maybe 'disappointed' they won't be celebrating with you? They can move the celebration up a few weeks if walking is important to you.
People who have never walked cannot understand why we do walk and why we return year after year. Sometimes I don't understand why...lol
As far as being disappointed in the Portugues...? I enjoyed it. I loved the people of Portugal. I loved the walk along the coast. But it was different from the Frances in many ways...fewer accommodations that were pilgrim specific, fewer pilgrim menus, fewer pilgrims in general while walking ( but many seemed to resurface at night ). The one experience that was priceless was staying at CasaFernanda...she and her family are delightful and it is a true pilgrim experience.
The only real way to not be disappointed is not to create any expectation. Acknowledge that it is a camino, a bit different from the CF, and embrace the different experience.

Happy Birthday to you! I'll be starting off my birthday walking the first day of the Camino Ingles from Ferrol on Sept 16th !
Walk with joy :)
 
Last edited:

Queso

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
?
Hi I completed the camino France's route in May and absolutely loved it for so may reasons , since my return I have been thinking about my next camino.
Im 29 and have can take some annual leave from the 12th September for 12 days and don't want to waste my time off so was thinking of doing the camino Portugues.
I'm have a dilemma though, I will be turning 30 during the intended time away. My friends think im crazy for wanting to do another camino let alone doing it when it's my 30th birthday.
I cant really express how much I loved doing the Camino France's, I think deep down im worried I will be disappointed and the camino Portugues wont be as good.
For those who have done both routes how did the two compare ? Did you enjoy the Portuguese route just as much?
Thanks in advance.
If I was turning 30, I’d go for the Primitivo in a heartbeat. At 72 with COPD my goals are more modest.
 

Juspassinthrough

in our minds, we're vagabonds, you and I
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Inglés 2019
Leon-Sarria, June (2019)
Camino Aragonés (2023?)
If you’re going to compare one to the other, I think you’ll be disappointed. I recently completed the Inglés and had I compared it to the Francés which I walked in 2017 I know I would have been disappointed. What I learned was that each stands on their own. The CF has a strong social component, a traveling community. The CI, at least for me, was very solitary. Neither is good or bad, they are just what they are. Go with an open mind and you probably will not be disappointed. Buen Camino and welcome to the forum. Should you decide to walk the CP or other route, I’d love to hear your impressions afterwards.
 

Rex

One Step at a Time
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago (2013)
Lisboa to Santiago (2018)
via Francigena (1st Half ~ 6/2021)
You will never regret celebrating your birthday on a Camino. If you are in the mood to celebrate, there will be plenty of pilgrims around to join you and celebrate your youth and your future. If you wish it to be a quiet marker, well, that will be up to you. Having walked both the CF and CP, as noted by many others on this thread, they are very different, but the Pilgrims are the same. Same spirit, same quirks, same blend of quiet and/or exuberant (Aussies and Kiwis, I'm looking at you), same friendly greetings along the way. My friends (and even my spouse of 37 years) don't understand it, but they accept and applaud my choice to follow my own path and experience a way that let's my inner introvert experience a time of quiet and deep enjoyment of just walking and encountering other human beings who are walking for their own reasons. As an added benefit, I now have a circle of friends from Italy, Portugal, Spain, Czech Republic. Ireland, and Germany who share a common bond. I've even traveled to visit some of them and hike in their countries.
All this is to say, I'd follow the advice given above and take off on the CP on your time table and celebrate with your family and friends when you get home.
Whatever you decide, Happy Birthday, and many more!
Bom Caminho!
 
D

Deleted member 59555

Guest
Hi I completed the camino France's route in May and absolutely loved it for so may reasons , since my return I have been thinking about my next camino.
Im 29 and have can take some annual leave from the 12th September for 12 days and don't want to waste my time off so was thinking of doing the camino Portugues.
I'm have a dilemma though, I will be turning 30 during the intended time away. My friends think im crazy for wanting to do another camino let alone doing it when it's my 30th birthday.
I cant really express how much I loved doing the Camino France's, I think deep down im worried I will be disappointed and the camino Portugues wont be as good.
For those who have done both routes how did the two compare ? Did you enjoy the Portuguese route just as much?
Thanks in advance.
I am in the same a situation. But two things to consider one the France is getting busy and at times you will now come across large groups that seem to be self centered. When these groups are around try getting near the kitchen. I have walked the france three times in the last two years. But last remember this in the camino dictionary there is no such word as disappointed 😋😍 I think next time if there is I will do the Portuguese . Way. Good luck God bless.
 

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
I spent my 49th birthday on the Central Portugese Camino walking from Tamel to Ponte de Lima.

I had decided to go on a camino for my birthday, as this was the only time in which i could go on a holiday and I really longed to walk this camino. 3 months ago, on my husbands birthday my mum and my sister-in-law had started a quarrel, and so did some of our frinds. Thus it seemed impossible to celebrate a birthday with the whole family and friends. I would have needed to celebrate in 3 different groups, still risiking, that someone would be complaining. To me it made more sense, not to celebrate my birthday at all.

Waking up in the morning, I felt like going back to Porto by bus or train and catching the next plane home, especially because I had exaggerated the previous day walking all the way from Rates in enormous heat. It was slightly drizzeling that morning, thus I decided to give the camino another try and walk to the village of Tamel where there was a train-station. When arriving there, a train to Porto was awaiting but I did not longer feel tempted to catch it. Instead I decided to walk un to Casa Fernanda. Upon arrival there it was really raining. A fellow German Pilgrim whom I had met the previous day and who had walked there the evening before (she started late from A Pedra Furada) took a rest day there and invited me for a cup of tea. After that and though Casa Fernanda seemed to be a really nice place, I decided to stick to my original plans and to continue to Ponte de Lima. In Ponte de Lima some fellow pilgrims decided to cook a communal dinner. I offered the wine because of my birthday. It was an unforgettable evening.

Adele, an italian, cooked vegetarian risotto for us. Nowadays I am still befriended with her and her husband Marzio. They visited me in April and I hope to go to their place this autum. We plan a common camino for 2021, when they will both be retired and we only have to look after the agenda of my colleagues.

So I really encourage you, to go on the camino for your birthday. It will be something unique and special as every day on the camino is.

BC
Alexandra
 

Silus

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPDP (Oct 2018)
Portugués (Oct 2019) Coastal/Spiritual
Finisterre/Muxia (Oct 2019)
[QUOTE="hel&scott, post: 779702, member: before settling down with a beer to wash his socks at the end of the day, birthday or not.
[/QUOTE]
Does washing socks in beer prevent blisters?
 

alhartman

346 joyful days in Spain and France since 2005
Camino(s) past & future
Hope so!
Disappointment is about the failure of hopes/expectations. Both CF and CP are wonderful but different experiences. Even though I injured out of the CP, I loved it mainly because I always got to walk alone and always had dinner companions. But there was never a 'camino family' for me on the CP. But then again, I did intermittently from Lisbon to Barcelos (3-4 days before Tui) so I missed the most heavily traveled part. IMO there is no such thing as a 'bad' camino--and they all have their trials and tribulations and their joys and triumphs.
Go for it!!
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Here are what I saw as the differences (copied and pasted from another post that was also asking about the differences between the two routes, adapted a bit to address your particular situation and questions):

Here are what I think of as the differences between the two routes:
  • The Frances is more historic. You are walking in the footsteps of millions from across Europe. The Portugues is also certainly historic, dating from the middle ages as well. But it also certainly didn't get the traffic that the Frances did -and still doesn't.
  • On that note, the Frances is more popular, with better infrastructure. Some people (especially those who have walked other routes, or walked the Frances first a while ago) consider the Frances (especially after Sarria) crowded. The Portugues is not a lonely route (especially the Central route from Porto, although the Portugues Coastal is one of the fastest growing routes in terms of popularity). But it doesn't have as many people or as much infrastructure as the Frances. I didn't find myself lonely there, or that the infrastructure was lacking, though.
  • Looking at your time frames, you are going to find the Portuges a shorter route. It won't have the same "epic" feel that the Frances did (especially if you have previously spent a month walking the Frances. I started from Porto, took my time and got to Santiago after 13 days. Having previously spent 41 days walking on the Frances to Finisterre, I felt that my Camino Portugues was ending just when I was getting started. On the other hand, having walked a camino before, I got into the Camino routine and mindset much quicker than on the Frances and was in better condition, so I didn't have that brutal conditioning to go through at the start of my Camino.
  • By the same token, the increased length of the Frances, leads to a more diverse landscape, through several sets of mountain ranges, through plains, vineyards and cattle country, etc. There seemed less diversity on the Portugues (although you do get the coastal walking if you choose to and I combined the Senda Litoral, the Coastal and the Central in my route).
  • The Frances will give you the "archetypical" Camino experience. If your introduction to the Camino has been through books or movies, chances are those books and movies were about people walking the Frances rather than the Portugues. You will recognize the landmarks and landscapes. By the same token, once you have walked the Frances, you will be able to watch the movies and read the books and bring to mind when you were there. This difference is more for those who are choosing which to walk as their first camino, though.
  • The Portugues will give you the experience of more than one country. (Yes, I know that for many the Frances starts in France. But you are less than 25 km from the border. You don't get to experience a lot of France.) This is especially true if you start in Porto or Lisbon and not at all true if you start in Tui.
  • I found the Portugues to be significantly less physically challenging than the Frances. There weren't the mountain ranges that one tends to find on the Frances.
  • One final difference. When walking the Frances, one enters Galicia from the east and walks westward through cattle country towards Santiago. On the Portugues, one enters Galicia from the south and walks northward through wine country towards Santiago. Your nose will notice the difference.
For what it is worth, I had my 55th birthday on the Camino Portugues (at Casa da Fernanda) last autumn. While it is nice to have a birthday at home among family and friends, there is also something nice about having a birthday on the Camino among fellow pilgrims and hearing "Happy Birthday" sung in a dozen languages.
 
Last edited:

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Good stuff, David.

Historically, the three principal Ways through Spain were/are the Francès (and all its variants including both the Norte and the Primitivo and I guess the Castilla y Aragon), the Aragonès, and the Cami Catalan (St Francis of Assisi walked the Catalan and the ancient Cami Romieu/Via Aurelia on his own rather lengthy Camino ; it's quite possible that roughly it was Saint James' route too).

The Via de la Plata and the Portuguès and the Camino de Madrid and the Inglès and so on are of similar antiquity, but simply due to the lower numbers of Pilgrims arriving to those routes from outside Spain and Portugal, and in the case of the Inglès its shorthood, originally they were secondary paths -- except that the Norte, and parts of the Francès, and several variants of the Catalan began their life as Ways to Rome (the pre-Compostelan Way to "world's end" at Fisterra withstanding of course, though that took a bit of a different route than the Francès as such).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués Porto'17,Lisbon'18
Inglés A Coruña y Ferrol '18
Invierno'19
Hi I completed the camino France's route in May and absolutely loved it for so may reasons , since my return I have been thinking about my next camino.
Im 29 and have can take some annual leave from the 12th September for 12 days and don't want to waste my time off so was thinking of doing the camino Portugues.
I'm have a dilemma though, I will be turning 30 during the intended time away. My friends think im crazy for wanting to do another camino let alone doing it when it's my 30th birthday.
I cant really express how much I loved doing the Camino France's, I think deep down im worried I will be disappointed and the camino Portugues wont be as good.
For those who have done both routes how did the two compare ? Did you enjoy the Portuguese route just as much?
Thanks in advance.
Hello,
I'm among the few, a camino addict, having never walked the francés. I spent the months up to my 50th birthday planning my first Camino, and a few months after I walked from Porto and everything after has changed.
The next summer I walked from Lisbon. And this April I spent my 52nd birthday walking 35+kms to Monforte on the Invierno with my son. It was absolutely one of the best birthdays I have had. I would spend every birthday on the Camino if I could.
If you have free time and you want to walk GO!! Being able to spend your birthday walking, and thinking, and being, and learning.......I don't think it matters which camino. Just start fresh.
Now is what matters....
Buen camino,
MaryEllen
62B6DEE2-CBF2-4F00-AD2A-EE1F08358DE4.jpeg
Birthday girl!!
 

countycork

Member
Camino(s) past & future
26th May 2013
Don’t try to compare one Camino with the other – each is unique – it may be too soon to do another Camino instead look forward to it for next year OR how about doing the coastal route from Porto but ask your friends to come along too. Porto is a great centre for having a party as well as lots of things to see/do. Perhaps suggest to your friends to join you for couple of days walking after the birthday celebrations, if they don’t like it they can always bus it back to Porto and fly home leaving you to continue walking. Of course all of this depends on their situations workwise etc! Either way enjoy your 30th!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2016), Norte (2017), Portuges (2018), Mozarabe (2019), Primitivo (2019), Via de La Plata (2
Hi I completed the camino France's route in May and absolutely loved it for so may reasons , since my return I have been thinking about my next camino.
Im 29 and have can take some annual leave from the 12th September for 12 days and don't want to waste my time off so was thinking of doing the camino Portugues.
I'm have a dilemma though, I will be turning 30 during the intended time away. My friends think im crazy for wanting to do another camino let alone doing it when it's my 30th birthday.
I cant really express how much I loved doing the Camino France's, I think deep down im worried I will be disappointed and the camino Portugues wont be as good.
For those who have done both routes how did the two compare ? Did you enjoy the Portuguese route just as much?
Thanks in advance.
Hi there. I did the Portuguese last year a couple of weeks later than you plan to do it. I did the Norte in the year after I debuted on the Frances and I found that disappointing just a long hard walk. However the Portugues (Tuy to Santiago in 5 days) restored my faith. The towns were charming, the people very friendly and not at all jaundiced by the number of peregrinos passing through. The albergues were all great and comfortable. The Camino has a number of little chapels dotted along its length manned by a group of devout people who stamp the credenciales. The other thing is that the food along the Camino was really good. Buen Camino.
 

Ronald H

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012
Hi I completed the camino France's route in May and absolutely loved it for so may reasons , since my return I have been thinking about my next camino.
Im 29 and have can take some annual leave from the 12th September for 12 days and don't want to waste my time off so was thinking of doing the camino Portugues.
I'm have a dilemma though, I will be turning 30 during the intended time away. My friends think im crazy for wanting to do another camino let alone doing it when it's my 30th birthday.
I cant really express how much I loved doing the Camino France's, I think deep down im worried I will be disappointed and the camino Portugues wont be as good.
For those who have done both routes how did the two compare ? Did you enjoy the Portuguese route just as much?
Thanks in advance.
Do the GR65 in France instead. You will love it.
 

MarcoPolo616

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2018 Camino Portugues (Valença to Santiago)
2019 (planned) Santiago- Finisterre-Muxia
Hi I completed the camino France's route in May and absolutely loved it for so may reasons , since my return I have been thinking about my next camino.
Im 29 and have can take some annual leave from the 12th September for 12 days and don't want to waste my time off so was thinking of doing the camino Portugues.
I'm have a dilemma though, I will be turning 30 during the intended time away. My friends think im crazy for wanting to do another camino let alone doing it when it's my 30th birthday.
I cant really express how much I loved doing the Camino France's, I think deep down im worried I will be disappointed and the camino Portugues wont be as good.
For those who have done both routes how did the two compare ? Did you enjoy the Portuguese route just as much?
Thanks in advance.
I can’t think of a better way to spend a birthday than on the Camino. I have spent my last two birthdays on the Camino- The Portugues in 2018 and the Camino a Fisterra in 2019. The Camino Portugues, especially in May, will not let you down! It’s a beautiful camino, as you meander through the Albariño vineyards and make a a “furancho” stop of two along the way near Pontevedra!
 

John Ferguson

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
The French Way May/June (2015) Complete.
Completed Porto Way from Lisbon May(2017).
Hi I completed the camino France's route in May and absolutely loved it for so may reasons , since my return I have been thinking about my next camino.
Im 29 and have can take some annual leave from the 12th September for 12 days and don't want to waste my time off so was thinking of doing the camino Portugues.
I'm have a dilemma though, I will be turning 30 during the intended time away. My friends think im crazy for wanting to do another camino let alone doing it when it's my 30th birthday.
I cant really express how much I loved doing the Camino France's, I think deep down im worried I will be disappointed and the camino Portugues wont be as good.
For those who have done both routes how did the two compare ? Did you enjoy the Portuguese route just as much?
Thanks in advance.
I walked the French Way in 2016 from St Jean PdeP, and the Portugal Way from Lisbon in 2017. Both were rewarding on different levels. The Porto Way I did was basically all along the Atlantic Seaboard, on Boardwalk, very sunny, little shade. Many many ancient fishing villages.
The Portuguese People were amazingly Friendly. The cost was about 65% less, for food and accommodation. If you plan on the Potro Way, may I suggest you start in Porto, from Lisbon to Porto was long days?Buen Camino - Ultreia.
 

John Ferguson

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
The French Way May/June (2015) Complete.
Completed Porto Way from Lisbon May(2017).
Ooops, my bad. French Way in 2015 (time flies when you're having fun).
 
Camino(s) past & future
C Inglés June 2019
To do: C Primitivo June 202x :(
Every road you take in life will be different , so will it be on every Camino.
Always try to make the best of it 😉
You never can do good for every body...so do what your hart is telling you to do.
I think having your birthday on a Camino makes your Camino already special.
I would not hesitate....your real friends will still be there when you come back 🤗
Drinking so much and not remembering the next day is a bit 'over the top' 🙃
You want to remember this moment and treasure it for the rest of your life.
What ever you decide...Happy Birthday & Buen Camino 😎
 

Paul McG

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2016)
Camino Portugués (2017)
Camino San Salvador (2019)
I've walked both and the Portugués did not disappoint. In fact, I liked it a lot more - that is to say, I got a lot more out of it. But as the others have said, it is your Camino and you are the only one who will walk it.
 

Jodylynn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Future 2017
Hi I completed the camino France's route in May and absolutely loved it for so may reasons , since my return I have been thinking about my next camino.
Im 29 and have can take some annual leave from the 12th September for 12 days and don't want to waste my time off so was thinking of doing the camino Portugues.
I'm have a dilemma though, I will be turning 30 during the intended time away. My friends think im crazy for wanting to do another camino let alone doing it when it's my 30th birthday.
I cant really express how much I loved doing the Camino France's, I think deep down im worried I will be disappointed and the camino Portugues wont be as good.
For those who have done both routes how did the two compare ? Did you enjoy the Portuguese route just as much?
Thanks in advance.
I turned 60 on the Camino Frances and also celebrated the 10th anniversary of my marriage. Though continents away from home and everyone I love, my Camino deepened my sense of awareness of these events.
Before I left, I experienced a grand Bien Camino party with 70 family and friends. I didn't miss a thing. It was perfect.
I have walked the Portuguese Central, Porto to Santiago and i trust you will find beauty, serenity and soul there, too.
 

Zordmot

First timer Spring 2019
Camino(s) past & future
April-May 2019
Hey EKB let me be the first to say Happy Birthday!! Coincidentally I walked CF in May as well and I’m going back to do it again in September! I have a blog that I titled “Life as a Bike Tour” I too wrestle with going back to where I had pleasant memories or going someplace new. One of the things about cycle touring is that each new morning you take down your tent and pedal someplace new. Who knows—it might be the best day ever or it may really suck. But you never know until you fully enter it and either way you’ll be surprised! I end with an old realtors story: a realtor was frequently asked by prospective buyers: are the people in this town nice? The realtor would ask them, “Well, what were the people like in your last town like?”. If they said: “Oh the people in our last town were wonderful! he would say, “I predict you will find the people here to be wonderful”. If they answered: “Oh, the people in our last town were horrible!” he would say, “I’m really sorry but I’m sure you’ll discover the people here can be horrible too”.
 

lunna

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
frances; lisboa-muxia; norte+bayonne; vdlp; le puy; voie d'arles+aragones; geneva to ales
I've walked the Frances 3 times (2012, 2015 and 2018) and the Portuguese (along the coast 2019). The Portuguese was different because I was walking along the ocean and many of the towns were more for tourists. But I couldn't believe the beautiful views. I absolutely loved walking along the ocean. When I walked in May I was surprised that the majority of pilgrims were from Germany. I only met a few people whose first language was English. That was a huge change from the Frances - but everyone could speak English so it wasn't a problem. Some people switched to the Central route because they weren't feeling the "vibe" of the camino along the ocean route, and wanted to walk through all the small farming towns like on the Frances.

Last year I had my 60th birthday on the Salvador camino and received an individual serving of yogurt for breakfast as a gift from a fellow pilgrim and had a fabulous dinner out compliments of another pilgrim. Much better than a birthday at home. I get such a kick out of telling people my 60th birthday gift was an individual serving of yogurt.

So if you have the time and the money to complete another camino - go for it!
How difficult was the Salvador?
 

Alan Wu

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPP-Santiago-Fisterra-Muxia
2018 SJPP-Logrono-Bilbao-Oviedo-Melide-Santiago
Primitive way could be a good choice if you have only 12 days!
You will never disappointed if you choose Primitive way.......
 

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